Australia captain Clarke to make IPL debut for Pune

Friday, 30 March 2012 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Australia captain Michael Clarke has signed for the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Pune Warriors and will make his debut in the fifth edition of the cash-rich Twenty20 tournament.

Clarke, who leads the Australian test and one-day teams, quit international Twenty20 in January 2011. He will play in the IPL under former India captain Sourav Ganguly.

"We are thrilled to have Michael Clarke on board. The reigning Australian skipper is one of the world's best cricketers," Sushanto Roy, an owner of the franchise, said in a statement.

"His presence in the side, and cricketing proficiency, will boost the prospects of Pune Warriors India in the IPL 2012."

The right-handed batsman, who turns 31 on Monday, will be unavailable for the initial part of the tournament as Australia are playing a three-test series in the West Indies, the final test starting on April 23.

"He is a very popular cricketer in India, and followers of the sport are eagerly looking forward to his participation in the IPL 2012," Rajeev Shukla, the chairman of the IPL, said.

Clarke had made himself unavailable for previous editions of the tournament, citing his busy schedule with the Australian team.